chuckles1225
Posts: 170
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2002 12:36 pm

Why Doesnt Flight Time/Distance Affect Ticketprice

Wed Feb 16, 2005 10:18 am

Why do very short flights like UAEX 6098, 6099, 6100, 6101 from LAX-ONT which last about 15 minutes and cover a distance of about 90 miles cost $221.30 each way while a much longer flight like UA 100 which travels from LAX to ORD and which lasts almost 4 hours can cost 20 bucks less? I searched these routes for the same date and at the same departure time so that isn't it?

Does the aircraft size have that much of an impact on price? LAX-ONT route flown by EMB 120s and LAX-ORD route flown by 767-300.
ask not what your pilot can do for you, ask what you can do for your pilot
 
N1120A
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RE: Why Doesnt Flight Time/Distance Affect Ticketprice

Wed Feb 16, 2005 10:30 am

>Why do very short flights like UAEX 6098, 6099, 6100, 6101 from LAX-ONT which last about 15 minutes and cover a distance of about 90 miles cost $221.30 each way while a much longer flight like UA 100 which travels from LAX to ORD and which lasts almost 4 hours can cost 20 bucks less? I searched these routes for the same date and at the same departure time so that isn't it?

Does the aircraft size have that much of an impact on price? LAX-ONT route flown by EMB 120s and LAX-ORD route flown by 767-300. <

It has nothing to do with aircraft size. The reality is that there really is not the demand to fly LAX-ONT. There is no real point for UA to discount the fares as there are very few people who would ever fly the route for anything but a connection. Since there may be some sucker who really, really wants to fly the route, they charge a massive amount of money and hope to grab someone. The funny thing is that UA does sometimes offer decent (though still more expensive than flying to SFO or LAS) fares on these routes as an alternate to driving. This is just to maybe get an extra bit of revenue, since they have already paid OO for the plane, so they just want to sell as many tickets as possible
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captaingomes
Posts: 6251
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2001 1:33 am

RE: Why Doesnt Flight Time/Distance Affect Ticketprice

Wed Feb 16, 2005 10:31 am

The number one determinant of ticket price will be the marketplace. Selling airline seats is not like selling regular merchandise. Simply put, the cost per seat is a theoretical figure, as the actual cost of transporting additional passengers is small, with a few exceptions. If an airline can sell a few more seats at $50 per seat more, it makes more money even if the $50 is less than the theoretical cost per passenger figure. The key point for an airline is to figure out how to sell more seats for more money, and match capacity to demand as well as possible.

This is why you will see short flights sometimes costing more than long flights, as the capacity might be better matched to demand, or there might be less fierce competition on those particular short flights.
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fbgdavidson
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Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 6:25 am

RE: Why Doesnt Flight Time/Distance Affect Ticketprice

Wed Feb 16, 2005 10:32 am

So many reasons.....off the top of my head

1) Competition - An LCC competing on a route drives prices through the floor
2) Demand - Price is the result of a medium where both demand and supply are reached at sustainable levels
3) The cheap fare buckets for days you were looking might have run out
4) Fixed costs - to operate a flight one mile has costs - pilot, crew, landing fees, fuel, maintenance etc etc and these aren't going to be 1000x times more for a route 1000x length

However, on the whole with some exceptions the longest flights are the most expensive.
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
citationjet
Posts: 2258
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2003 2:26 am

RE: Why Doesnt Flight Time/Distance Affect Ticketprice

Wed Feb 16, 2005 11:11 am

All of the reasons given are true and valid.
There is very few people who fly LAX to ONT. Most are using that segment as part of a connecting flight, so the LAX to ONT fare is not that typical.

Many people believe that airline ticket prices should be based on distance traveled, however not everything is priced that way. The best example I know of is the price of a first class letter in the US Postal service. The cost is 37 cents whether it travels across the street, or from Maine to Hawaii.
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September11
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Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 12:49 am

RE: Why Doesnt Flight Time/Distance Affect Ticketprice

Wed Feb 16, 2005 11:36 am

Where is AA ticket pricing department? I remember from the past: no cents on plane tickets (just dollars). Now airline ticket prices are like this:

$233.50
$322.50
$177.50

I do not mind working in AA ticket pricing office FOR ONE DAY and learn "why flight time/distance do not affect ticketprice" & learn why 50 cents ....
Airliners.net of the Future
 
ckfred
Posts: 4709
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2001 12:50 pm

RE: Why Doesnt Flight Time/Distance Affect Ticketprice

Wed Feb 16, 2005 2:18 pm

There are a lot of factors that affect price. If an airline leases one gate at an airport and has 6 flights, then the cost of the lease must be spread over the 6 flights.

If an airlines leases 5 gates and has 40 flights, chances are the airline has a lower lease rate per gate, and the cost is spread over more flights.

This is just one of the variables that affect ticket pricing.
 
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VirginFlyer
Posts: 3940
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2000 12:27 pm

RE: Why Doesnt Flight Time/Distance Affect Ticketprice

Wed Feb 16, 2005 2:49 pm

A couple of other things to consider:

  • Larger aircraft generally have lower seat-mile costs. For instance, according to the figures I have, a 777-200 with 266 seats has a cost of 3.76c/seat-mile, while a 737-800 with 148 seats has 3.98c, an ERJ-145 with 50 seats has 8.63c, and a Saab 340 with 34 seats has 15.52c.

  • An aircraft is generally at its most efficient when in cruise. Because long haul flights spend a greater percentage of their time at cruise altitude, longer flights are more efficient. In particular, there is a higher fuel use during takeoff and climb. So while aircraft A may fly twice as far as aircraft B, both being the same type carrying the same load, the cost of operating aircraft B's flight will be greater than half that of operating aircraft A's flight.

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